This is not the type of publicity Apple needs for its long-rumored autonomous car project. The headlines make it appear at first glance that no auto manufacturer wants to partner with Apple. This is the current optics after Nissan denied being in talks to cooperate on the Apple Car.
Nissan Denies the Rumors
Apple has been rumored to be working on an “Apple Car.” This isn’t that surprising, as every tech company, ride service, and automaker seems to be working on the same.
The difference with the Apple Car project is that it doesn’t appear Apple is working on the vehicle itself. Apple appears to be only interested in supplying the technology while waiting for an automaker to agree to work with it.
Nissan Motor Company beat back rumors that Apple approached it to work together on an autonomous project. It was reported that there were brief discussions between Apple and Nissan about the Apple Car. It was said that the talks didn’t move on to the next step.
“We are not in talks with Apple,” said a spokeswoman for Nissan. “However, Nissan is always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation.”
Earlier Rumors About Hyundai
Late in 2020, rumors popped up about Apple working on an “Apple Car.” There were no partners mentioned, just that Apple was working on an autonomous passenger vehicle. It was believed it would be using its battery technology. The release was thought to be as early as 2024.
In January of this year, Hyundai said it was in talks with Apple to cooperate on the Apple Car. It then revised its announcement to say it was working with multiple auto manufacturers on autonomous technology.
Rumors had stated Apple and Hyundai had been in talks for a cooperation with Kia, a subsidiary of Hyundai, a South Korean company.
However, these rumors quickly changed to stating that these talks fell through. The reason for this was Apple was upset that Hyundai was confirming the rumors.
If you’ve followed Apple at all over the years, you know that new products are always kept ultra-quiet. Even up until a release is mentioned on stage by CEO Tim Cook, no one can be too sure, despite rumors many times being dead on.
Combined with Nissan’s announcement, it just doesn’t paint Apple in a good light. It makes it seem as if Apple is out there nearly begging for an automaker partner.
The way Apple rumors are usually very close to reality, it would seem that the company is probably working on an “Apple Car” and that it probably is shopping around for a partner.
Perhaps Nissan is coordinating on an Apple Car and just learned from Hyundai’s mistake to play by Apple’s rules.
Read the backstory on the Apple Car rumors, including the Taiwanese rumor that an Apple Car would be released by September 2021.